Nikon D800 vs. Leaf Aptus 75 - The Verdict

This past week I rented the Nikon D800 To use along side my Leaf Aptus 75 for a job and wanted to do a full on comparison of the two.

*Disclaimer - This “review” will be strictly based on my opinions and are based on the type of work I do and what works best for me. 

For the review I was inspired by a recent story in Texas Monthly were they had some local photographers take on the cliche pictures of the great texas Blue Bonnets. The three things that I want to share on sharpness, depth of field, color. 

Here are the full images first.

Nikon D800

Leaf Aptus 75


Sharpness:

The first thing I wanted to look at was sharpness. Below are two samples of 100% crops with each camera. It’s a tough call but the leaf back has the edge but this is a given as it doesn’t have the notorious AA filter. However with just a touch of good sharpening techniques the file looks great and honestly the only people that will notice the difference are pixel peepers. Also I would love to see how the D800E stands up to the medium format in sharpness. Here are some sample of the leaves.

*side note you will notice the in the sample the blue bonnet is closer up in the leaf file. this is because the sensor isn’t quite full frame so the 80mm was a little more telephoto than “normal” lens.

Nikon D800 at 100%

Leaf Aptus 75 at 100%

Depth of Field:

For this subject the winner will completely depend on the type of work you do and what camera body the leaf back is on. For my work I do a lot of compositing and I like to have as much in focus as possible. That way when I comp in a couple images it doesn’t look weird when the back of one image is falling out of focus but the next is sharp. Now for a portrait shooter I could see how some good fall of would be lovely. So obviously with the medium format the depth of field is nice and falls of much faster than the Nikon but like I said before this could be a pro or a con. With the final image in mind on this one it was a con. The only way to overcome this challenge would be either focus stacking or using a technical camera with tilts and shifts. Here are the 100% samples.

Nikon D800 at 100%

Leaf Aptus 75 at 100%

Color:

As with the others color will be completely subjective. Both images were white balanced off the white background. The Leaf back had just a did bit more red/magenta to the colors but other than that they both produced delightful color. So like before it is just going to be a taste thing and can easily be shifted in post.

Nikon D800 at 100%

Leaf Aptus 75 at 100%

So in conclusion they are both extremely fantastic cameras. When it really comes down to it all that matters is how you shoot and what you shoot. They are both just tools to get to the end result. Check back in a couple days to see the final image from the shootout and to guess which camera was used in the end. 
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